CHICAGO (AP) — A white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager has been hired to work as a janitor for the city’s police union as he awaits trial, the union president said Thursday.
Dean Angelo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago, says the union hired Jason Van Dyke about three weeks ago. Van Dyke is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. The shooting was captured on squad-car video and has prompted investigations, including a federal civil rights probe of the Chicago Police Department. Van Dykes has been suspended from the department without pay.
The union would do the same for any Chicago officer and have hired dozens of people who are in no-pay status, Angelo said.
“This officer is in a very difficult situation financially. He has a family and we would do it for anybody that works as a Chicago Police officer,” Angelo said.
Van Dyke does various tasks, Angelo said.
“He might be on the roof, he might be in the office, he does anything we need,” Angelo said.
Van Dyke has lost other jobs due to publicity and that threats closed his wife’s business, the union said. Van Dyke’s attorney last week asked court officials to let the officer not attend hearings because he has received threats of violence and death when he comes to court.